Student: Nathan Yuchimiuk

Project: Developing Techniques to Characterize Solvent-Cast 3D Printed Scaffolds

View: Research Poster (PDF)

Institution: Lehigh University

Major: Bioengineering

Advisor: Lesley Chow


Three-dimensional (3D) printing is taking on a larger role for the rapid development of implantable tissue engineering scaffolds with bioactive cues that promote regeneration of different tissues, such as cartilage, nerves, ligaments, and blood vessels.1 While many common techniques require post-modification to functionalize after printing, cutting-edge processes are being developed to functionalize scaffolds in a single step during printing. For example, our lab has developed a solvent-cast approach using biodegradable polymer inks pre-functionalized with short peptide sequences.2 Peptide concentrations on the surface of scaffolds showed a direct relationship with the peptide-polymer concentration in the ink.2 However, there is a lack of knowledge around peptide concentration within the printed fiber, which may have important ramifications regarding peptide presentation during degradation. In addition, the ability to characterize the physical architecture is necessary to prove consistent production and performance. Morphological and biochemical characterization is especially important since scaffolds for tissue engineering serve the critical role of supplying the structure and signals by which cells may proliferate, generate extracellular matrix, and differentiate via biochemical cues while physically connecting injured tissue.3 These two features are evaluated, respectively, through the development of a high-throughput MATLAB script that determines dimensions from images of scaffolds and highly specific labeling techniques using the biotin-streptavidin interaction and gold nanoparticles.


  1. Guo, S. Z.; Heuzey, M. C.; Therriault, D. Properties of Polylactide Inks for Solvent-Cast Printing of Three-Dimensional Freeform Microstructures. Langmuir 2014, 30 (4), 1142–1150.
  2. Camacho, P.; Busari, H.; Seims, K. B.; Schwarzenberg, P.; Dailey, H. L.; Chow, L. W. 3D Printing with Peptide-Polymer Conjugates for Single-Step Fabrication of Spatially Functionalized Scaffolds. Biomater. Sci. 2019, 7 (10), 4237–4247.
  3. Chia, H. N.; Wu, B. M. Recent Advances in 3D Printing of Biomaterials. J. Biol. Eng. 2015, 9 (1), 4.


About Nathan Yuchimiuk

Nathaniel Yuchimiuk is a Bioengineering senior working as an undergraduate research assistant in the Chow Lab at Lehigh. He is on the biomechanics and biomaterials track and has achieved minors in both Nanotechnology and Computer Science which have proved invaluable toward his research investigating scaffold characterization. Though his physical presence in the lab has been understandably limited in the last year, he has easily adapted quickly to find other approaches to his goals. His favorite lab activity has been operating the scanning electron microscope and he hopes to be able to use those newfound skills in his future endeavors. Nate is also a part of the disc golf club at Lehigh and enjoys competing in tournaments or playing a round at the local courses in his free time.